Role of alpha-toxin in Clostridium perfringens infection determined by using recombinants of C. perfringens and Bacillus subtilis

M. Ninomiya, Osamu Matsushita, J. Minami, H. Sakamoto, M. Nakano, A. Okabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Clostridium perfringens type A strains which differed in alpha-toxin (phospholipase C [PLC]) productivity were inoculated intraperitoneally or intravenously into mice, and then their 50% mouse lethal doses (LD50) were determined. Strain NCTC 8237 produced ninefold higher PLC activity than strain 13. The mean LD50 for the former was 1 log unit lower than that for the latter. Two isogenic strains were constructed from strain 13: strain 13(pJIR418α) (pJIR418α contains the plc gene), which produced ninefold higher PLC activity than strain 13; and strain 13 PLC-, which showed no PLC productivity at all because of transformation-mediated gene disruption. The mean LD50 for strain 13(pJIR418α) was 1 log unit lower than those for strain 13 PLC- and strain 13. These results indicate that PLC functions as a virulence-determining factor when it is produced in a sufficient amount. Such a difference in LD50 was also observed between Bacillus subtilis with and without the cloned plc gene. Inoculation of B. subtilis PLC+ intravenously into mice caused marked thrombocytopenia and leukocytosis. Mice inoculated with B. subtilis at 2 LD50 died because of circulatory collapse. Histological examination revealed that intravascular coagulation and vascular congestion occurred most prominently in the lungs. These results suggest that PLC plays a key role in the systemic intoxication of clostridial myonecrosis, probably by affecting the functions of platelets and phagocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5032-5039
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume62
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

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Clostridium Infections
Clostridium perfringens
Type C Phospholipases
Bacillus subtilis
Lethal Dose 50
Genes
Leukocytosis
Virulence Factors
Phagocytes
Thrombocytopenia
Blood Vessels
Shock
Blood Platelets
Lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Role of alpha-toxin in Clostridium perfringens infection determined by using recombinants of C. perfringens and Bacillus subtilis. / Ninomiya, M.; Matsushita, Osamu; Minami, J.; Sakamoto, H.; Nakano, M.; Okabe, A.

In: Infection and Immunity, Vol. 62, No. 11, 1994, p. 5032-5039.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ninomiya, M. ; Matsushita, Osamu ; Minami, J. ; Sakamoto, H. ; Nakano, M. ; Okabe, A. / Role of alpha-toxin in Clostridium perfringens infection determined by using recombinants of C. perfringens and Bacillus subtilis. In: Infection and Immunity. 1994 ; Vol. 62, No. 11. pp. 5032-5039.
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